I recently attended my first Kid Lit Vic conference. If anyone is trying to get published I really recommend this conference, it’s well organised and has lots of opportunities to meet editors in either a formal (paid critiques) or informal (cocktail hour) capacity.
Below is my list of 4 things I learned at Kid Lit Vic 2017
1. Australian Themed Books
The subject of Australian themed books was very polarising – some smaller publishers rely on international rights sales and have a preference for universal themes whereas some of the imprint publishers and larger publishers were very interested in Australian themed books as that’s where their heartland was and they didn’t require international right sales.
2. Series Books
Better to have a story that’s complete in its own right with a little door kept open to continue it as a series if your story is a hit! Also keep in mind the timing of your books, how quickly can you write/illustrate them? You don’t want your fans to grow out of your series because they were released too slowly.
3. Publishers Want Illustrators
Publishers are seeking out illustrators through mediums such as Instagram. If you’re an illustrator, don’t be shy about sending your postcards out to publishers. The popular illustrators have waiting lists of 3 years+ so there is definitely room for more excellent illustrators. Also Illustrators should say yes to every project at the beginning (as long as they are getting paid reasonably) to get experience in the publishing industry.
4. Slush Pile to Published %
I knew the odds were not good but one publisher mentioned that only 1% of their books begins life in the slush pile. That means that for a publisher that prints 10 stories a year, only once every 10 years will one of those stories be found on the slush pile! It’s all the more reason to go to these conferences and get in front of editors.
What did you learn? please comment below.